Family Travel Hacks

Work smart, not hard while planning your next family trip. Escape on an affordable weekend trip or save big where you can on longer vacations. Peruse these top tips for saving money, easing stress and simplifying your next family getaway.

Stay Smarter

Hotels may seem like an easy go-to for less hassle and greater convenience, but for more space and the comforts of home while away, consider a vacation rental. Depending on the location and time of year, entire homes, townhouses, condos and large apartment rentals can actually be more affordable.

Some rentals offer fully stocked kitchens providing the comforts of home. Take advantage with a few homemade meals and pack snacks for daily excursions. Plus, having an entire home allows more space for the kid’s toys, family necessities and the unique opportunity to save leftovers after a night out — a great way to save money and produce less waste when the kids are picky or too full to finish dinner.

Even if your kitchen rental doesn’t come fully loaded, plenty of family-friendly destinations offer a plethora of farmers markets and bodegas providing fresh, locally grown and fun ingredients for a family dinner — all at a fraction of the price of a dinner out and less stress for kids with allergies. The kids enjoy feeling like locals and you can put the extra cash from a night in toward a fun experience the next day. Search for local markets while traveling or ask your vacation rental host for some insider tips.

Family buying nuts at farmers market

© Monkey Business Images |

Pack Smarter

Bringing a reusable water bottle can be a game changer. Save money on daily drink purchases and create less waste by having one or two bottles with you on your trip. Most cities and popular tourist destinations have water fountains available for you to fill up and go. Bring one with a built-in-water filter and stay hydrated on a budget and free of worry.

Stock up on snacks before your trip at your convenience or big-box store at home or make an effort to find one while away. Buy must-have granola bars and fruit snacks for the kids to keep everyone happy and fueled for excursion days, group tours and while in transit.

Packing a picnic can be a great way to enjoy your surroundings and get the most of your trip. Do some research on local parks, outdoor spaces and scenic areas where you and the kids can take a break while taking in your surroundings over lunch — without the high price tag of some touristy restaurants.

Take the extra money you’ve saved and head out on an excursion the whole family will enjoy or splurge on dinner and shopping to celebrate your successful family trip.